How to Improve Emotional Intelligence: Top 7 Ways to Make it Happen

How to Improve Emotional Intelligence: Top 7 Ways to Make it Happen | Career | Emeritus

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to manage one’s own emotions as well as recognize the emotions of others. Individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence have an increased ability to handle stress, forge stronger relationships, and become more successful in their careers. Companies, too, are beginning to realize the value of emotional intelligence in their employees. In fact, emotional intelligence is one of the top 10 most in-demand skills in today’s workplace and is likely to remain there through at least 2025. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to improve emotional intelligence and increase employability in the corporate sector.

How to improve emotional intelligence

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Here are some qualities that EI helps you develop, which, in turn, can set you on the path to professional success.   

Improves Communication

Being emotionally intelligent allows you to communicate effectively and collaborate with others in a business setting. This improves relationships with colleagues and clients, resulting in more productive and successful outcomes.

Engenders Empathy

You are understanding and empathetic toward others. This not only improves professional relationships but cultivates leadership skills and leads to better problem-solving and decision-making as well.

Increases Adaptability

Emotional intelligence allows you to adapt to changing circumstances and handle stress and challenges more effectively. This can lead to greater resilience and better performance in the workplace.

Enhances Leadership Abilities

Emotionally intelligent leaders can inspire and motivate others, leading to a more engaged and productive team. This results in improved performance and increased profitability for the company.

Assists in Decision-Making

Emotionally intelligent people can consider the emotional impact of their decisions on others. This can lead to more effective and ethical decision-making, leading to better outcomes for the company and its stakeholders.

Types of Emotional Intelligence

Types of Emotional Intelligence

After conducting extensive research on the concept of emotional intelligence, Peter Salovey, John Mayer, and David Goleman came up with three primary models: 

1. The Trait Model

The trait model is a psychological theory that suggests that certain personality traits are innate and remain consistent across different situations and contexts.

2. The Mixed Model

It suggests that personality traits are not solely innate but also influenced by situational factors such as financial stability and the work environment. This model can be used to assess the potential of a business partner or employee to adapt to different situations.

3. The Ability Model

The ability model suggests that certain abilities or skills are necessary for success in a particular field or occupation. For example, an individual who has the strong analytical ability and specialized education are more likely to be successful in a business that demands a high level of technical expertise.

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Considering how a high EI can benefit one’s career, professionals are looking for new ways to improve this trait. So, let’s see how to improve emotional intelligence and become more desirable. 

Step 1: Reflection

One of the key ways to improve emotional intelligence is to take the time to reflect on your own emotions and how they can impact your interactions with others. This means taking a step back and analyzing your feelings, thoughts, and behavior. 

Step 2: Self-Evaluation

Another critical aspect of improving your emotional intelligence is regular self-evaluation. By being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, you can work to improve your emotional intelligence in specific areas. Evaluate your interaction with others and note if it needs to change. Both reflection and self-evaluation are interlinked and equally important to cultivate a high EI.

Step 3: Pay Attention to Nonverbal Cues

In any situation, it’s important to pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice. These cues can provide valuable information about how others feel in a particular situation. By paying attention to these cues, you can better understand the emotions of those around you and respond appropriately.

Step 4: Take Responsibility for Your Actions

One of the hallmarks of emotional intelligence is taking responsibility for your actions and their impact on others. This means acknowledging when you’ve made a mistake or if you hurt someone’s feelings, and taking practical steps to make amends. 

Step 5: Take Critique Well

Another critical aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to take critique well. This means being able to receive feedback and criticism constructively, without becoming defensive or overly emotional. By taking critique well, you can demonstrate to others that you are open to improvement and willing to learn.

Step 6: Utilize Active Listening Skills

One of the effective ways to improve your emotional intelligence is actively listening to others. This means actively paying attention to what others say, asking questions, and providing feedback. Active listening skills can help you communicate more effectively with others. 

ALSO READ: Top 5 Habits of Highly Effective Learners and How to Develop Them

What are the Components of Emotional Intelligence?

What does it take to be emotionally intelligent? According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, who popularized the concept and wrote extensively about it, there are four components of emotional intelligence: 

1. Social Skills

Social skills refer to an individual’s ability to communicate effectively and interact with others. This includes the ability to understand and respond to other people’s emotions, as well as the ability to build and maintain positive relationships. 

2. Social Awareness

Social awareness refers to understanding and interpreting others’ emotions, needs, and perspectives. This includes the ability to read and respond correctly to social cues. 

3. Self-Regulation

Self-regulation refers to being able to control one’s own emotions and behavior. This includes managing stress and negative emotions, controlling impulses, and staying focused on goals.

4. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is understanding one’s own emotions, thoughts, and behavior. This also includes being able to recognize and label emotions and understand the impact our own emotions and behavior can have on others. 

Can a Person Increase Their Emotional Intelligence?

Can a Person Increase Their Emotional Intelligence?

Although some professionals may be naturally adept at emotional intelligence, this skill can be learned, developed, and enhanced by making small changes. Here are some effective ways to increase EI: 

1. Pay Attention to Your Behavior

Observe your interactions with colleagues and their responses to you. Are you quick to make assumptions or judgments? Impactful changes can be made by being aware of negative patterns in your language, expressions, and attitude, and adjusting them accordingly.

2. Employ Positive Language in Your Interactions

The words we use affect not only our thoughts and actions but also the perceptions and attitudes of those around us. Take the initiative to create a positive work environment by using positive language that promotes progress and productivity.

3. Maintain a Resilient Attitude

Recognize that obstacles and challenges are a regular aspect of life. When faced with difficulties, look for opportunities to pivot or explore new avenues without succumbing to pressure. 

4. Monitor Your Stress Levels

High-pressure situations can easily trigger negative emotions. Make sure to prioritize self-care and find time to relax or practice deep breathing for a few minutes to keep stress levels at bay. 

5. Practice Empathy and Compassion

Cultivating kindness and understanding toward others is a continuous process. To become an emotionally intelligent person, seek out new ways to show empathy and compassion by actively listening and paying attention to body language. 

ALSO READ: Survey Shows 94% of Learners See a Positive Impact on Their Career

Make Learning Easy with Emeritus

While emotional intelligence is a requirement to succeed in the workplace, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your other skills. Emeritus is on a mission to make learning easy for everyone. With top industry practitioners offering training on different in-demand subjects and skills, learning with us ensures effective career development. Get in touch with our experts today to choose from our wide range of online courses and take your career to the next level! 

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How to improve emotional intelligence

About the Author

Managing Editor, Emeritus Blog
Anwesha is our in-house expert on careers, trends impacting the workforce, and what makes content tick. As a journalist and content creator for 10+ years, Anwesha leaves a bit of herself in every story. Her superpower is to take the bare bones and turn it into a winning narrative for brands. Her passion to tell stories of human triumph led her to Emeritus where she continues to weave engaging tales. Anwesha is also a doting dog mom and hopes to make her boisterous canine a pawfluencer.
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